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Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine these concerns and evaluate the use of job satisfaction (and other subjective variables) in labor market analysis. The main theme is that, while there are good reasons to treat subjective variables gingerly, the answers to questions about how people feel toward their job are not meaningless but rather convey useful information about economic life that should not be ignored. The paper begins with a brief description of the satisfaction questions on major worker surveys, and then considers the use of satisfaction as an independent and as a dependent variable. Satisfaction is shown to be a major determinant of labor market mobility, in part it is argued because it reflects aspects of the work place not captured by standard objective variable8. Satisfaction is also found to depend anomolously on some economic variables (such as unionism) in ways that provide insight into how those factors affect people.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0225.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0225.

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Date of creation: Jan 1978
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Publication status: published as Freeman, R. B. "Job Satisfaction As An Economic Variable," American Economic Review, 1978, v68(2), 135-141.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0225

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